Monster of the Day #261

I’m not going to overstate this, but the fact that this guy was also the King of Cartoons is one of the greatest things in human history.

This is numbered as #261 because, as Rock caught, yesterday’s MotD was a repeat of a previously used entry. In my defense, I am very stupid.

  • The Rev.

    I really dig this movie. It was a great moment, that first time, when I realized Blacula was played by the King of Cartoons (the name “William Marshall” didn’t mean anything to me back then).

    The real mindjob was rewatching the “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” series a couple of years ago and finding out Cowboy Curtis was played by a painfully young Laurence Fishburne. Wow.

  • roger h

    what about Fishburne in “Apocalypse Now”, so young and thin he is nearly unrecognizable.

    Of course, the first time I saw “Golden Boy” I did not recognize William Holden.

  • The Rev.

    Well, umm…I haven’t actually seen Apocalypse Now.

    Despite the lady of the house owning the DVD when I met her years ago.

    Yes, it’s on the list.

  • roger h

    Rev, in “Apocalypse Now”, if you blink, you will miss a pre “Full Metal Jacket” appearance by R. Lee Ermey.

  • R. Dittmar

    I’ve got to get this one from Netflix if I can. Doesn’t it co-star Jemima Brown from “The Eiger Sanction”?

  • Rev.: I have about five movies that vie for the somewhat-meaningless title of “favorite movie”. Apocalypse Now is one of them.

    Don’t blink or you’ll miss Coppola’s cameo himself, playing a vaudevillian combat camera director.

    It’s a pretty heavy movie. My advice: only watch it when you are ready to give it your best attention. You’re in for a treat.

  • Rock Baker

    I must’ve missed something when I saw Apocalypse Now, because I was pretty underwhelmed. I just found it boring and over-rated. Granted, I’m a little older now, I might should see it again someday.

    Blacula, though, fun stuff! Say what you will, but we suffer for the loss of AIP’s wares.

  • fish eye no miko

    Yes! Blacula is awesome. William Marshall is really good as Mamuwalde (“Blacula’s” real name), and makes this movie better than it has any right to be.

  • PB210

    William Marshall also once provided the voice of Iron Man.

  • BeckoningChasm

    And William Marshall was also Dr. Daystrom, from Star Trek’s “The Ultimate Computer.” (The M-5’s voice was done by Scotty.)

  • Flangepart

    To me, he’ll always be the father of the M-5 computer.
    “You are great…I am great…”

  • Rock Baker

    He also played ‘death’ in an episode of Benson, for those keeping track. Benson could go off into weird territory at times, like that episode spoofing Night of the Comet!

  • zombiewhacker

    I loved Marshall in the title role, but otherwise this was a really, really stupid film.

    * Mamuwalde is traveling 18th century Europe, campaigning to free African slaves worldwide, when he is vampirized and sealed in his coffin in Transylvania. But when Mamulawalde wakes up in 20th century Los Angeles, he gives no reaction
    to the fact that blacks have long since been emancipated. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to notice!

    * Nor does he suffer culture shock for having awoken after almost two centuries. When he was imprisoned in his coffin, the United States hadn’t even won its indepedence yet. But not once upon his return does Mamuwalde turn to someone… anyone… on the streets of LA and whisper, “Err… this might sound like a pretty dumb question, but where the hell am I?”

    * Nor do advances in technology seem to faze him. When a cab driver nearly runs him over, Mamuwalde shouts, “Watch where you’re going!” when his reaction should have been to gape at the motorized vehicle before him and shudder, “What the hell is that?

    * Similarly, Mamuwalde shuns having his picture taken by the lady photographer in the club, perhaps cognizant of the fact that vampires don’t show up on film. Except that back in 1780, for all practical purposes the modern camera didn’t exist yet.

    * Mamumalde speaks fluent English. Apparently English is the official language of both Transylvania and whatever African country he originally hails from. How else would he have been able to pick it up so fast? Pimsleur method?

    * The movie recycles the old Imhotep/Ankh-es-en-amon routine of having Mamuwalde search for his lost, now reincarnated love. But at least the Karloff movie had somewhat believable tension between Boris and Zita. In Blacula, Vonetta McGee doesn’t even blink at the suggestion that she is Marshall’s reincarnated lost love. The revelation that he’s really a vampire has no effect on her either. “That’s nice, honey. So would you like me to heat up the Rice-a-roni?”

    *The vampire mythology is all warped. Some victims turn into vampires upon being bitten. Other victims take the more traditional approach of becoming vampires the next night after rising from the dead.

    *I’ll cut the filmmakers slack for the reverse racism that occurs throughout the film (e.g. stupid white honkies). But still, it’s omnipresent.

    It’s not all sour grapes with me, though. Thalmus Rasulala makes a kick-ass hero, there’s a genuinely scary warehouse sequence, and lest we forget… Elisha Cook Jr.!!!

  • sandra

    I liked the bit where the former cabbie bursts out of the morgue in slow motion and jumps Elisha Cook Jr.

  • sandra

    Oh, and I also liked the credits, with the cartoon bat flapping around.

  • alex

    To Zombiewhacker: Originally the movie was written as a very cheezy comedy but William Marshall didn’t want to play a clownish figure since they were so little leading role for black actors back then and made changes to the script during filming to make Mamuwalde more dignified. Director William Crain (also a black man) agreed and this might explain why they are defintite script problems since they were probably rewriting as they went along.

  • P Stroud

    You didn’t miss anything Rock. Having done a tour in Nam and on gunboats to boot, I’d say that there is little in the movie “Apocalypse Now” that bears any relation to reality.

    Though we did make a water board to try to ski on during slack time. I emphasize the word “try”.

  • Flangepart

    There goes Zombiewacker, applying logic again! ;)

    Nice list. In ‘Love at first bite’ Drac reads a phrase book in his coffin.
    “Red Hot momma?…23 Skidoo?…Published in 1923? Renfield, you idiot! This book is as out of date…as I am.”

  • The Rev.

    I picked up on some of zombie’s list during my viewing (not all of it, though), but was enjoying myself enough to not pay much mind. For me, it’s a sign of a good, or at least enjoyable, movie if I can go along with things like that and not begrudge the movie too much. Jaws is a good example; as Ms. Kingsley points out, there are quite a few continuity errors, but honestly, the movie’s so great I really never cared. Your average episode of “The Herculoids” is another.

  • Rock, Rev, PStroud and all the ships at sea:

    Even though the last tour I served was as a crossing guard at St. John the Baptist High School, I could tell Apocalypse Now wasn’t an accurate portrayal of river boat service in Veitnam.

    And yet, somehow, I loved the movie.

    On another note, I hope Ken wraps with “Scream Blacula Scream” on Friday

  • zombiewhacker

    Hmm… I’m leaning toward Sugar Hill.

    Or Moms Mabley.

  • Eric Hinkle

    I finally got a double of BLACULA and SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM. I think Muster Marshall deserved an Oscar for actually making the goofy script of first of those two sound good when he was performing.